Work samples

  • "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance"

    This immersive, multi-sensory solo exhibition is the culmination of my 3-month, 2022 Artist Residency at The Nicholson project in SE DC. The Nicholson Project, Press Release ~ "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance is an ode to black women herbalists, midwives and root women whose stories are shrouded in the mysteries of Phylicia's personal family history and the history of this country. Incorporating sound, texture, and an apothecary cabinet that “feels like walking into the living space of a Grandmother, Great Aunt or family matriarch,” Phylicia has transformed Nicholson’s gallery into a place that feels sacred, where herbs are hanging and herbal remedies are cultivated; where recipes are handwritten on napkins and torn pieces of paper."

  • "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance" (Abbreviated Before & After)

    Quick review of before and after; including video filmed and edited by Carlos Gonzalez-Fernandez of Eyelum at 1:11min -- “Liminality: A Story of Remembrance” Immersive, Multi-Sensory Installation, 2022 Immersive sound, Found objects and furniture, Grandma Alice’s sofa, chicken carrier, vintage radio, mixed media, vintage baby scale, medicine bag, hanging herbs + plants (peanuts, sorghum, goldenrod, lamb’s-ear, okra, lavender, fish peppers, scotch bonnet, holy basil, ginger, turmeric and many more); photographs of my Ancestors, found historic images of midwives and herbalists, libation, love, tears, dance, fellowship, reverence

  • "Grandma / i am accused of tending to the past." Portrait of my Grandmother

    "Grandma / i am accused of tending to the past." Portrait of my Grandmother often displayed with poem by Lucille Clifton entitled "i am accused of tending to the past" ~ 20" X 30" Photograph, Archival Pigment on Photo Rag Paper, Finalized & Printed March 2022 

  • An Ode to Black Women: Midwives, Herbalists & Root Women

    Portraits of my Great Grandmothers with December1951 Life Magazine Issue; chronicling midwife, Maude Cullen's work in rural South Carolina; Process photo during the installation of "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance"

About Phylicia

Baltimore City, Baltimore City - Station North A&E District, Baltimore County

Phylicia Ghee is an interdisciplinary visual artist, photographer and curator. Ghee’s artwork documents transition, explores healing, memory, ritual, ceremony & personal rites-of-passage. She is interested in the intersection between the physical and the spiritual. Taught by her Grandfather at an early age; Ghee works in photography, performance, video, fibers, mixed media, installation & painting. She earned her BFA… more

"Liminality: A Story of Remembrance" Immersive Multi-Sensory Solo Exhibition

2022 Artist-in-Residence, The Nicholson Project

Southeast, Washington D.C.
Exhibition Dates: November 6, 2022 – January 28, 2023

"Liminality: A Story of Remembrance"
Immersive Multi-Sensory Solo Exhibition

"Liminality: A Story of Remembrance is an immersive installation that is an ode to the self taught herbalists, midwives and root women whose stories are shrouded in the mysteries of Phylicia's personal family history and the history of this country. Incorporating sound, texture, and an apothecary cabinet that “feels like walking into the living space of a Grandmother, Great Aunt or family matriarch,” Phylicia has transformed Nicholson’s gallery into a place that feels sacred, where herbs are hanging and herbal remedies are cultivated; where recipes are handwritten on napkins and torn pieces of paper."

 

~ The Nicholson Project, Press Release

Artist Statement:

liminality [ lim-uh-nal-i-tee ]

Liminality: a term used to describe the psychological or emotional and metaphorical process of transitioning across boundaries and borders. The term “limen” comes from the Latin word for threshold; it is literally the threshold separating one space from another. A place of transience. The quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage. During a rite's liminal stage, participants stand at the threshold between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way. 



My Mother studied medicine when I was in her womb. She was a pharmacist throughout my childhood. I have been painfully aware of the impact Western medicine had on her well-being throughout my life. I watched my Mother seek healing, in ways that were accessible to her. My story is a continuation of her seeking. In seeing the unfolding of her life and the negative impact Western medicine has had; I decided at a young age to go the path of natural medicine, Eastern philosophy, African spirituality, and Indigenous healing traditions. Essentially, my Mother and I, with our shared interests, meet here, back at our beginnings. 

My lineage has revolved around practices of care. My Grandmother is the caregiver of our entire family, her love is our lifeblood. My Grandparents have continued to care for various members of our family, over three generations. Even my Great Grandparents were caregivers. Understanding this dynamic within myself has led me to the creation of this space. 

Black women are the thread that has woven the tapestry of our collective history. While consistently repairing the frayed fabric and torn edges, Black women remain the most disregarded and least cared for people on the planet. Yet we continue our care. While we have not been the cause of the ruptures that have resulted from systemic violence, white supremacist heteropatriarchy, and structural racism, it is us who have tended to those wounds. We have been the doulas and the midwives of this country. We’ve offered care, even to our oppressors.

In 1921 after Congress passed the Sheppard-Towner Act, midwives were banned from hospitals as a result of smear campaigns attempting to discredit their work.

Through Federal gatekeeping, midwifery, as it was traditionally practiced by African-descended Black women, began to diminish. The Federal government, alongside white male obstetricians and gynecologists, labeled these women outdated, barbaric, uncleanly, and uneducated. Government systems that favored the capital produced by obstetrics used the “mammy” archetype to understate, undermine and collapse these women’s wisdom and sheer intuitive skill into primitive perilousness, claiming that they needed the intervention of white male physicians and western medicine. Meanwhile, throughout history, Black women had breastfed, raised, and nurtured much of the white population in this country. It was black women whose bodies were lacerated and violently operated on during unanesthetized nonconsensual gynecologic experiments in the name of obstetrics. It is no coincidence that the Black maternal and infant mortality rates are three to four times higher than white maternal and infant mortality rates in the U.S.

Many of us would not exist were it not for the work of Black women herbalists, root women, and midwives. This work lives in my bones, and inside of many of us who identify as Black and Indigenous women of color. 

Time travel is a significant theme in this work. This space is an opportunity to traverse timelines. This first space serves as the portal and path of entry into the liminal. Liminality being a space betwixt and between; devoid of time as we know it. The second room is an invocation; a safe space that invokes the spirits of these women through the use of textiles, textures, sounds, smells, handwritten text, time-specific furnishings, hanging herbs, and layered cabinets. This is a call to remember and honor. Pieces like the vintage radio and phone reference frequency, wavelength, and communication between thresholds. I’m asking these women to come teach me to live in the frequency of the love they knew so purely and shared so freely. 

In making space for the unseen and the non-physical, I imagine these women in the room; resting, congregating, praying, communing, summoning, studying, and leaning on one another for care and fellowship. Many of the items in this space belonged to my Grandmothers and the Grandmothers of beloved women in my life. Through engaging in the simultaneity of time, a term coined by Vanessa German, we awaken to the timeless and call on memory to become palpable reality. Liminal spaces are at the center of every rite of passage in life; these are not spaces to fear, but to be fully present in, as core aspects of ourselves are transformed. And on the other side of transformation, of birth or death; we remember the women who ushered the way.

 

 

 

  • The Story Behind: “Liminality: A Story of Remembrance” Immersive, Multi-sensory Solo Exhibition
    “Liminality: A Story of Remembrance” Immersive, Multi-Sensory Installation, 2022 Immersive sound, Found objects and furniture, Grandma Alice’s sofa, chicken carrier, vintage radio, mixed media, vintage baby scale, medicine bag, hanging herbs + plants (peanuts, sorghum, goldenrod, lamb’s-ear, okra, lavender, fish peppers, scotch bonnet, holy basil, ginger, turmeric and many more); photographs of my Ancestors, found historic images of midwives and herbalists, libation, love, tears, dance, fellowship, reverence
  • Gallery ROOM #2 Red / Pink / Terracotta Room
    “Liminality: A Story of Remembrance” Immersive, Multi-Sensory Installation, 2022 Immersive sound, Found objects and furniture, Grandma Alice’s sofa, chicken carrier, vintage radio, mixed media, vintage baby scale, medicine bag, hanging herbs + plants (peanuts, sorghum, goldenrod, lamb’s-ear, okra, lavender, fish peppers, scotch bonnet, holy basil, ginger, turmeric and many more); photographs of my Ancestors, found historic images of midwives and herbalists, libation, love, tears, dance, fellowship, reverence
  • Gallery ROOM #1 Charcoal / Brown Room
  • "I remember you" in Gallery Room #1
    I remember you” Multi-sensory Installation, 2022 Found photographs and hand painted names of Black Women herbalists, root women and midwives; Vintage wash table with enamel basin and pitcher, the Jackson family’s old perfume bottle, elderberry syrup, elder flower, elderberry hydrosol, elderberry seed oil, plant essences and essential oils, rose water, memory; Hanging herbs and plants: Roses, eucalyptus, holy basil; Sound by: Phylicia Ghee, sound effects created with water and wash basin; Sound Engineer: Evan Kornblum
  • "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance"- DETAILS
    Photos of the exhibition; vials of elderberry, rose water in wash basin from work entitled "I remember you", photos of black women herbalists, midwives and root women; and apothecary cabinets. The wash table at the entry into the exhibition serves as a portal, Elderberry facilitating the opening. As an ancient herb, very significant in Black herbalist traditions, Elder is symbolic for the elders I am honoring in this space. The Elder tree in its fruit and flowers, hold the energy and magic of transitory spaces; that of birth and death, rebirth and renewal, transition and transformation. Elder is both protective and restorative.
  • "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance" Moments from my Immersive Multi-Sensory, Solo Exhibition
    Meditative moments from my multi-sensory, immersive solo exhibition
  • "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance"
    The warm glow of the space in the evenings.
  • 1951 Life Magazine in exhibition; Maude Cullen (midwife, SC)
    It was important to me to have this original copy of December 3, 1951 LIFE magazine because it marked an important moment for a dedicated midwife in Berkeley County South Carolina. It was completely out of the ordinary to have an article about a black woman (midwife or otherwise) in any publication at that time. This article allowed Maude to raise the money to build a clinic in her town, and is one of the reasons her work is remembered to this day.
  • "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance"
    2-channel soundscape heard throughout the space - Newspaper excerpts courtesy of: AFRO American Newspaper Archives, Phylicia Ghee, voiceover and sound effects, My unborn niece’s heartbeat, local musicians Jamal R. Moore, Musical Instrumentation of percussion and winds & Jamaal ‘Black Root’ Collier, Vocals (Humming); Sound Engineer: Evan Kornblum; Various voiceover contributions, Sounds of home; recorded at Nicholson, my Grandparents home and in nature, Recordings made during site visit to Concord Historic Site with Shakia Gullette, Recordings made during site visit to Riversdale House Museum with Maya Davis
  • "Liminality: A Story of Remembrance"
    Medicine bag, lantern, hanging garlic, medicine bottles, jars of herbs...

Portraits of my Grandparents

"Grandma / i am accused of tending to the past" Portrait of my Grandmother
with poem by Lucille Clifton (displayed in vinyl lettering below photograph)
20"X30" Photograph, archival pigment on photo rag paper
June 2020

Description:

This is one of my favorite portraits I've taken of my Grandmother. She is the most pure, and unconditionally loving woman I've ever met. Her love is all-pervasive. It has been a gift to be her granddaughter. And my Grandmother, like so many black women, has worked and worked and worked. She is still working as I write this, and she has devoted the essence of her being to caring for us.

I coupled this work with the poem, “I am accused of tending to the past” because this photograph also speaks to a wider story about black women; and about our elders who have lived through so much; seen so much.

This image makes me think of my lineage and of black women being at the forefront of tending to falsified histories and constant erasures; persevering and preserving memories and personal histories, in the midst of challenges sprouting from seeds they did not plant.

Black women exist outside of societal and historical constructs. We are not to be collapsed into stereotypes, labels and archetypes of strength, servitude or over-sexualization. We will not be written off as angry or oversensitive. Black women have an emotional and spiritual intelligence that is unmatched. We are not invisible. We are invaluable. Black women are unbounded. We’ve always shown up; and yet we too have softness. We deserve reverence & regard. We are multidimensional.



“Khepri: I am because You are” A series honoring my Grandfather, Ghee
2019, Various Sizes, Photography, Mixed Media (scarabs, gold ink, handwriting) & Sound 

Description:
From the time I was a child, I’ve wanted to tell my Grandfather’s story. He is who I aspired to be like as an artist.  I created this series to honor him. His persistence, his passion and his resilience. 

I question what happens to our elder, black artists, when no one is looking for them? When they aren’t a part of the “collective memory” archived in institutions and museums? What happens to the art of those who didn’t get to practice their art or who struggled to do so? Does that work die with them, or does it find new life in the next generation? 

In this way, my Grandfather has been the torch bearer. The holder of genetic memory. His father’s story demonstrated a history of hoarded traumas, disempowerment and repressed memories of empty promises that never equaled societal acceptance or success; but rather recycled themselves as demeaning behaviors toward a son who unknowingly, but instinctively, carried forth his father’s dreams. 

A part of my life path is to carry my Grandparents with me, as they have carried me. To shine light on my Grandfather’s story, which has at times been dimmed by life’s challenges, prejudices, abuse and obligations but never extinguished. My Grandfather’s resilience, presence, love for his art and his family is inextinguishable. My Grandparents, who met at 13 and married at 18 are our unbreakable foundation. 

May the world see them, acknowledge him; his art and his story.

  • "Grandma / i am accused of tending to the past." Portrait of my Grandmother
    "Grandma / i am accused of tending to the past." Portrait of my Grandmother often displayed with poem by Lucille Clifton entitled "i am accused of tending to the past" ~ 20" X 30" Photograph, Archival Pigment on Photo Rag Paper, June 2020
  • "Grandma / i am accused of tending to the past." Portrait of my Grandmother with poem by Lucille Clifton
    "Grandma / i am accused of tending to the past." Portrait of my Grandmother, with poem by Lucille Clifton entitled "i am accused of tending to the past" (displayed in vinyl lettering below the photograph) ~ 20" X 30" Photograph, Archival Pigment on Photo Rag Paper in gold leaf gilded frame, June 2020
  • “Khepri: I am because You are” (16"X 24"C-Print on hahnemuhle paper)
    Photography, 16"X 24"Print on Hahnemuhle Rag Paper ~ From the time I was a child, I’ve wanted to tell my Grandfather’s story. He is who I aspired to be like as an artist. I created this series to honor him. His persistence, his passion and his resilience. I question what happens to our elder, black artists, when no one is looking for them? When they aren’t a part of the “collective memory” archived in institutions and museums? What happens to the art of those who didn’t get to practice their art or who struggled to do so? Does that work die with them, or does it find new life in the next generation? In this way, my Grandfather has been the torch bearer. The holder of genetic memory.
  • Jason Koerner - YoungArts Exhibit-4858.jpg
    Photos of my Grandparents in exhibition; "HOME: Reimagining Interiority", Curated by Dr. Deborah Willis + Dr. Joan Morgan; Miami, FL (Photo by Jason Koerner, Courtesy of YoungArts)
  • "Khepri: I am because You are" - Honoring my Grandfather
    Khepri, often depicted as having a scarab as his head, is a Kemetic Sun God representing the daily rising/birthing of the sun, renewal, resurrection and self-creation. Khepri meaning “He who is coming into being” is linked to the scarab because the beetle lays its eggs in a ball of dung, which it rolls along the ground as the young beetles gestate, resembling the moving of the Sun across the horizon.
  • "Khepri: I am because you are" (16"X 24"C-Print on hahnemuhle paper)
    Portrait of My Grandfather ~ Photography, 16"X 24"Print on Hahnemuhle Rag Paper
  • "Khepri: I am because you are" (12"X 18"C-Print on hahnemuhle paper)
    Portrait of my Grandparents ~ Photography, 12"X 18"Print on Hahnemuhle Rag Paper
  • My Grandfather with the work!
    My Grandfather standing next to the work at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
  • https://bmoreart.com/2019/11/the-resilient-art-of-edward-ghee-and-his-granddaughter-phylicia-ghee-has-never-been-a-luxury.html
    Publication: BMOREART ~ "The Resilient Art of Edward and Phylicia Ghee Has Never Been a Luxury" Written by Rebekah Kirkman

"INTREPID III" (August 2018, Ongoing Project)

INTREPID III Performance,
"I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, 
August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA

Each time I perform INTREPID, I write an affirmation that comes to me as I sit at the center of the paper in stillness before beginning the spiral. INTREPID III reads “I am, I am, I am, I surrender, I surrender, I surrender, I surrender…” The remainder of the spiral continues with “I surrender” repeated out to the edges of the paper. 

INTREPID embodies epigenetics and becomes a vehicle for neuroplasticity. Epigenetics means that a shift in perception can shift genetic expression. The work is deeply connected to birth and death; as I give birth to new aspects of myself, other aspects are dying away. Literally, a rewiring is happening, and new neural connections are being established. The work explores confronting impermanence. Much like a Buddhist mandala that is poured into a river after it’s created, as I write “ I am, I am, I am, I surrender, I surrender, I surrender, I surrender…” all the way out to the edges of the paper, I enter a meditative state and slowly my body erases the words I’ve previously written, although not completely. The intentions are transcribed directly onto my skin, becoming a part of me; and what remains is a faint image of what was written, speaking to the aspect of us that never truly dies and is never fully erased.

Intrepid III takes place on Martha’s Vineyard at Inkwell Beach in Oak Bluffs, which has a rich African American history. During the performance the Inkwell Polar Bears communed in a circle in the water chanting and praying (not pictured in the film -- just out of frame). The Polar Bears are a large group of all ages (originally a small group of black women and men) that have met on this particular beach every summer morning since 1946 to connect, commune, and pray during the morning sunrise hours. The Polar Bears continue to meet every morning of the summer at Historic Inkwell Beach. 

INTREPID III was performed at Art on the Vine: Pressure Points on Martha's Vineyard, and served as closure for Intrepid 0 (2014), Intrepid I (2015) and Intrepid II (2015).

Video Documentation by David Welch
Photo Documentation by Dayo Kosoko

 

  • "INTREPID III" - (2:58min Excerpt from INTREPID Trilogy)
    “INTREPID III”, August 12, 2018, 2:58 minute EXCERPT from 15:27 minute ritual performance; performed on Martha’s Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, at Historic Inkwell Beach, Video Documentation by David Welch
  • "INTREPID III"
    "INTREPID III" Performance --- "I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA --- Photo Documentation of Intrepid III by Dayo Kosoko
  • "INTREPID III"
    “The once white 9 X 9 ft sheet of paper became an archive, a living prayer, evocative of fractals, logarithmic spirals, and other naturally occurring patterns. The alchemy of Ghee’s process resides in the artist’s ability to literally transmute her trauma into a charged ritual artwork. “ – Black Art in America, Angela N. Carroll ----- "INTREPID III" Performance --- "I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA --- Photo Documentation of Intrepid III by Dayo Kosoko
  • "INTREPID III"
    "INTREPID III" Performance // "I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA // Photo Documentation of Intrepid III by Dayo Kosoko
  • My Great Grandmothers
    Altar for my Ancestors with photos of my two Great Grandmothers -- "INTREPID III" Performance // "I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA // Photo Documentation of Intrepid III by Dayo Kosoko
  • "INTREPID III"
    "INTREPID III" Performance --- "I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA --- Photo Documentation of Intrepid III by Dayo Kosoko
  • "INTREPID III"
    "INTREPID III" Performance // "I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA // Photo Documentation of Intrepid III by Dayo Kosoko
  • "INTREPID III"
    “There are layers to the rituals Ghee invokes, meta-narratives inspired by origin myths and oral histories from Indigenous African spiritual systems. Many of those stories speak about the power of Black goddesses, the medicine of water, and the transformative potential of intentional words.” – Black Art In America, Angela N. Carroll
  • "INTREPID III" (Aerial photo)
    "INTREPID III" Performance // "I am, I am, I am, I surrender..." Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Oak Bluffs, MA // Drone Photograph of Intrepid III by David Welch --This piece reads "I am, I am, I am, I surrender, I surrender, I surrender repeated to the edges of the paper"
  • "INTREPID III" (Timelapse)
    "INTREPID III" Performance, Charcoal on 9ft X 9ft paper, August 2018, Art on the Vine, Oak Bluffs, MA // Timelapse by David Welch

Selected Installations (2015 - 2023)

"Notes from the Ancestors: Tools for Edification" (2022)
Multi-sensory installation

Images 1 - 3

As an extension of the 8:46 video, the installation Notes from the Ancestors: Tools for Edification uses
various herbs (many significant in black herbalism, agriculture, and botany) to invoke both the practices
of herbalism and root work, as well as those who practiced these healing traditions throughout our
collective history.


Installed on the pulpit of the church, Notes from the Ancestors: Tools for Edification explores the
sacredness of care, the importance of family and community, and the sheer ingenuity, genius, and
resilience we have always had as Black people. We have kept one another alive through these traditions.
This installation uses texture, sound, smell, handwritten text, time-specific furnishings, and hanging
herbs to touch on the circular nature of time. These elements act as a conduit of communication
between thresholds and act as vehicles to transport the viewer through varying timelines into a
dimensional space of memory as it intersects with present reality.

 

"Breaking Open" 
Three-channel video projection on constructed vinyl screens, fabric & immersive sound.  Area 405, Baltimore, MD

Images 4 - 6

During my time as Resident Healing Artist for the New Day Campaign I created an installation entitled "Breaking Open". This installation was  an immersive sensory experience in which I built vinyl screens that hung from the the ceiling. On these screens, I projected a three-chanel video piece and covered the floor in a labrynth of fabric. The fabric in the space mirrored the over 100 yard spiral of fabric pictured in the video piece.  The sound in this installation fills the space with voices emerging from different areas of the room. "Intrepid I" and "Intrepid II" are performed at the center of this space within the labrynth of fabric, and amongst the three simultaneous projections. Sound for this space included a spoken piece "Sometimes We're Hardly Here" written, spoken & recorded for this installation by Natalie Stewart, as well as various personal stories recorded & spoken by 10 different women & men, surrounding issues of pain, mental health, wellness, self care, connection and human consciousness.


"If A Story Is Seed..."
Soil, 7ft X 7ft, The Eubie Blake Cultural Center, Baltimore, MD 

Images 7 - 10

“If a story is seed, then we are its soil.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
 
Dirt and soil are deeply connected to everything that nourishes us. Soil calls up connection to roots, growth, foundation, history, birth, death and the life cycle. I created a spiral of words in soil covering a 7ft square on the floor of the gallery space. This piece is deeply connected to impermanence, the idea of soil both having a memory and holding the memory & stories of the land (and those who once walked that land). The piece changed over time as the soil dried out during the duration of the exhibition. 

 

  • "Notes from the Ancestors: Tools for Edification"
    Multi-sensory installation in Pulpit of Historic Church (Banneker - Douglass Museum) ~ Exhibition Curated by Myrtis Bedolla.
  • "Notes from the Ancestors: Tools for Edification" (Detail)
    As an extension of the 8:46 video just above the installation, "Notes from the Ancestors: Tools for Edification" uses various herbs (many significant in black herbalism, agriculture, and botany) to invoke both the practices of herbalism and root work, as well as those who practiced these healing traditions throughout our collective history.
  • "Notes from the Ancestors: Tools for Edification" (Details)
    This installation uses texture, sound, smell, handwritten text, time-specific furnishings, and hanging herbs to touch on the circular nature of time. These elements act as a conduit of communication between thresholds and act as vehicles to transport the viewer through varying timelines into a dimensional space of memory as it intersects with present reality.
  • "Breaking Open" Installation
    Three-channel video projection on constructed vinyl screens, fabric & sound // Created as Resident Healing Artist for the New Day Campaign at Area 405 for "First the Pain", exhibition curated by Peter Bruun
  • "Breaking Open" Video Still
    Three-channel video projection on constructed vinyl screens, fabric & sound // Created as Resident Healing Artist for the New Day Campaign at Area 405 for "First the Pain", exhibition curated by Peter Bruun
  • "Breaking Open" Installation
    Three-channel video projection on constructed vinyl screens, fabric & sound // Created as Resident Healing Artist for the New Day Campaign at Area 405 for "First the Pain", exhibition curated by Peter Bruun
  • "If A Story Is Seed..."
    "If A Story Is Seed...", Soil, 7ft X 7ft // “If a story is seed, then we are its soil.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
  • "If A Story Is Seed..." (DETAIL)
    "If A Story Is Seed...", Soil, 7ft X 7ft // “If a story is seed, then we are its soil.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
  • "If A Story Is Seed..."- BLACKBIRD Exhibition
    "If A Story Is Seed...", Soil, 7ft X 7ft // BLACKBIRD Exhibition curated by Alexis Dixon, Eubie Blake Cultural Center, Baltimore, MD // “If a story is seed, then we are its soil.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
  • "If A Story Is Seed..." (Timelapse)
    "If A Story Is Seed..." Installation, Soil, 7ft X 7ft , Phylicia Ghee // “If a story is seed, then we are its soil.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.

"We Are The Infinite, Disguised As The Finite."

Phylicia Ghee, 2020 Sondheim Artscape Finalist Exhibition;

"WE ARE THE INFINITE, DISGUISED AS THE FINITE"
July 6, 2020 - Ongoing

Visit & walk through the VIRTUAL EXHIBITION

This exhibition is an exploration in both grief and self-directed healing. It all evolved from a desire to see liberation for black lives. To see us healing and thriving; to honor those we have lost. The energy of transition and death is definitely present in the space, but it is in conversation with this idea of windows and portals. For me, the video works on the two opposite walls, “The Site of Memory” and “8:46” function like windows into moments from my life. Most of those moments were documented during this pandemic period; gardening with my Grandfather, paying reverence to my ancestors, writing prayers for my mother, making herbal remedies, exploring how I care for myself and how we care for one another during these deep challenges and moments of grief and bereavement.

The large-scale earth spiral “The Immeasurable Truth”, made of sea salt and compost from my Grandfather’s garden — which he made with dried leaves from this past Fall — appears to flow in or out of the alcove in the center of the room. This is to reference the veil between worlds; the physical and the spiritual. It’s not evident whether the spiral is going or coming. This simultaneous ebb and flow, this collapsing of time and space, to me, is like a complex poetry representing the lives and the unknown truths of history living in the soil and in the sea; making manifestation both in this realm and beyond. So it’s not so much a question of living or dying, but of traversing physical, psychological and spiritual realms;  and living on through re-memory with a cyclical understanding of life. In this space I wanted to be able to touch on the inter-dimensionality and spiritual power of black lives, and to honor black, brown and indigenous lives ripped from us by the continual violences committed against us, both presently and historically. 

“WE ARE THE INFINITE, DISGUISED AS THE FINITE”. This title functions as a declaratory statement, a reclamation and a threat. In other words, you cannot kill us or erase us; you cannot silence us, we are infinite, we will thrive. 

I share various photographs documenting a rite of passage and hair cutting ceremony entitled “Grounding Ceremony” in addition to a mixed media (in-progress) quilt & collaboration with my Grandmother entitled “Genetic Memory”. My hair, which I cut during “Grounding Ceremony” ( and its seen laying on the earth beside me in the panoramic photograph on the left as you first walk into the space) is sewn into the quilt (7 years later) amongst photographs of my family and my mother’s brain scans printed on fabric, framed by Bògòlanfini and hung on drift wood. This demonstrates how narratives, materials & elements continue over various works, sometimes spanning years. 

I created five new works for this exhibition. One of my favorite moments in the exhibition is a photo I took of my Grandmother, called “Grandma”. It’s situated above a poem by Lucille Clifton entitled, “I am accused of tending to the past.” This makes me think of my lineage and of black women being at the forefront of tending to falsified histories and constant erasures, but remaining strong in the midst of challenges sprouting from seeds they did not plant.  

"8:46 " is a visual prayer named for the approx. amount of time the officer kneeled on George Floyd's neck ultimately killing him. Moving images that overlap are anchored by one image depicting me breathing. Other images of moments from my life both during the pandemic, and some from years prior, are layered together creating a montage of inherited and learned restorative healing practices. These are seeds of longevity, acts of protection, catharsis and self, family, community and cultural preservation. These overlapping moving images are overlaid by the sound of me breathing and praying for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.  

Essentially this is 8 minutes and 46 seconds of reverence. A visual and auditory medicine for times of grief. 

My hope is that by breathing for this time, this encourages the viewer to breathe as well; activating the parasympathetic nervous system and shifting the internal state of the body from one of stress to one of calm. This is also cleansing, clearing and oxygenating the cells, ultimately creating a positive effecting the heart, the brain, the digestive system and the immune system. This is reinforcing that we need to be well to show up fully in this revolution (breathing, taking care of self etc.), especially in the face of such brutality, sickness and hatred.


Links to full video works from the show:
"8:46"
"The Site of Memory"

More about Sondheim, and my experience creating this virtual exhibition, published online at BmoreArt:

The 2020 Sondheim Prize Finalists: Limitations and strategies for art prizes and digital exhibitions during a global pandemic

  • Phylicia Ghee - 2020 Sondheim Finalist Virtual Exhibition Walk Through
  • "We Are The Infinite Disguised As The Finite"
    (Photograph of the Virtual Exhibition)
  • "The Immeasurable Truth"
    The Immeasurable Truth, June 2020, approx 12ft X 12ft Installation (Compost from my Grandfather's Garden & Sea Salt) ~ There was an alcove in my exhibition space and I envisioned this large spiral coming out of it, or going into it, or both. I had to begin to explore how I would bring a three-dimensional installation into this digital space. Since I have no experience with 3-D design, this involved a ton of research and tutorials. Ultimately I ended up building out the spiral in real life using compost from my grandfather’s garden with sea salt. Over a total of about 25 hours, potentially more (13 hours of trial and error, 12 hours of actually making progress on the piece) I photographed the earth spiral from all angles, then I taught myself to 3D scan the work and use 3D modeling programs to prepare it to go into the space. This was exceedingly difficult.
  • "We Are The Infinite Disguised As The Finite"
    (Photograph of the Virtual Exhibition)
  • "8:46"
    June 2020, Visual Prayer, Single channel video with sound — voiceover: Phylicia Ghee ~ Essentially this is 8 minutes and 46 seconds of reverence. A visual and auditory medicine for times of grief. - My hope is that by breathing for this time, this encourages the viewer to breathe as well; activating the parasympathetic nervous system and shifting the internal state of the body from one of stress to one of calm.
  • "8:46"
    "8:46" Video Still, 8:46 visual prayer, 9:32 single channel video Voiceover: Phylicia Ghee
  • "8:46" Video Still
    "8:46" Video Still, 8:46 visual prayer, 9:32 single channel video Voiceover: Phylicia Ghee
  • "We Are The Infinite Disguised As The Finite"
    (Photographs of the Virtual Exhibition)
  • "The Site of Memory"
    18:46, Single channel Video (no sound), June 2020 ~ An exploration & journey into my grief. (Named after an essay by Toni Morrison)

​2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist Exhibition

2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist Exhibition
The Walters Art Museum
June 15th, 2019 - August 11th, 2019

The work I curated in the space was centered around my three most recent performances of INTREPID, which culminated with a film entitled "The INTREPID Trilogy", a series of light boxes, the 9X9 ft work from INTREPID III and an on-site handwritten prayer created in the space. 

The exhibition showcased the work of seven finalists (including myself) in this prestigious competition, which awards a $25,000 fellowship to assist in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the greater Baltimore region. 
  • A Walk Through: Phylicia Ghee's 2019 Sondheim Finalist Exhibition
  • Phylicia Ghee - 2019 Sondheim Artist Talk
    (Filmed by Poll Bravo!)
  • INTREPID III Self Portraits on Lightboxes
    August 12, 2018, Martha’s Vineyard; Duratrans film prints on lightbox (One 30in X 40in & Two 18in X 24in)
  • INTREPID III Self Portrait # 1 (30in X 40in)
    August 12, 2018, Martha’s Vineyard; Duratrans film prints on lightbox
  • INTREPID III Self Portrait # 2 (18in X 24in)
    August 12, 2018, Martha’s Vineyard; Duratrans film prints on lightbox
  • INTREPID III Self Portrait # 3 (18in X 24in)
    August 12, 2018, Martha’s Vineyard; Duratrans film prints on lightbox
  • “I am, I am, I am, I surrender…" 9X9 feet (left) "A Prayer for Us” 4’10” X 7’6” (right)
    “I am, I am, I am, I surrender…" 9X9 feet (left) Charcoal on paper, from INTREPID III ritual performance --- "A Prayer for Us” 4’10” X 7’6” (right) site-specific prayer, white charcoal on black paper
  • Museum Visitors viewing "The INTREPID Trilogy"
    "The INTREPID Trilogy" 2014–2019, 46:56 minute film; 4-channel sound, Documentation of Performance Series
  • “I am, I am, I am, I surrender…" (DETAIL)
    “I am, I am, I am, I surrender…" (DETAIL) 9X9 feet, charcoal on paper from INTREPID III ritual performance on Martha's Vineyard.
  • Installation of 2019 Sondheim Finalist Exhibition
    (with gratitude to The Walters installation team & New Standard Frames)

"Genetic Memory" (2018 - Present, In progress collaboration with my Grandmother)

My grandfather, also an interdisciplinary artist, has a deep impact on my art practice—my mother’s writing, my grandmother’s sewing and my great grandmother’s quilting have all found manifestation in my work. Each medium I use is its own language. I create narrative works that evolve over time. Often materials, processes or residual elements of one work—for example, ashes from a fire, hair, or soil—will find new life in another piece years later. For example, my hair, cut during my ritual performance “Grounding Ceremony” (2011) can be found sewn into “Genetic Memory”. 

I have always felt an intuitive connection to quilting & working with fibers. I'm drawn to the meditative process and the intertwining poetic qualities of memory, material and intergenerational histories. My Grandmother and I are currently collaborating on a series of quilts. 

My fiber works explore the depth and importance of documenting our own stories while honoring the stories of our ancestors both known and unknown, many of which reveal themselves through the creative process.

In addition to quilting, I work with a combination of techniques, including sewing, bleaching and dyeing fabric. I combine self-portraits, existing family photographs, MRI brain scans of my Mother’s brain and portraits of family that I have taken with natural fabrics, such as mudcloth and cotton.

My Grandmother helped me to create my first 6ft by 7ft quilt commission for the Reginal F. Lewis Museum in 2007. I later learned that my Grandmother’s Mother, Josephine, had been a quilter and had created a few quilts in her lifetime. There are also influences in this work from the women of Gee’s bend. I have been deeply inspired by these women and their quilts. I believe I may have some ancestral connection there as well.

Through this work I explore family stories, even those with many missing pieces. Having never met my paternal father, many aspects of my lineage are a mystery to me; so call on the unknown as I explore my own inner journey in understanding impermanence, surrender, death, fluidity, and the infiniteness of the self as it connects to the interwoven fabric of the cosmos.

  • “Genetic Memory”
    “Genetic Memory” (DETAIL - My hair sewn onto the quilt top above a photo of my Great Grandmother) - 6.5ft X7.5ft, Mixed Media Quilt (Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from “Grounding Ceremony”), My Mother’s Brain Scans (MRI), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting), April 2018 - present
  • Genetic Memory (Detail)
    In this quilt I combine self-portraits, existing family photographs and portraits of family that I have taken with natural fabrics, such as mudcloth and cotton. // “Genetic Memory” (DETAIL) 6.5ft X7.5ft, Mixed Media Quilt (Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from “Grounding Ceremony”), My Mother’s Brain Scans (MRI), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting), April 2018 - present
  • "Genetic Memory"
    “Genetic Memory” (in progress collaboration with my Grandmother, Cee Cee) 6.5ft X7.5ft, Mixed Media Quilt (Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from “Grounding Ceremony”), My Mother’s Brain Scans (MRI), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting), April 2018 - present
  • Genetic Memory on Drift Wood (Detail)
    “Genetic Memory” hanging on Driftwood (DETAIL) 6.5ft X7.5ft, Mixed Media Quilt (Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from “Grounding Ceremony”), My Mother’s Brain Scans (MRI), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting), April 2018 - present
  • Genetic Memory (Detail) - Self Portrait w/ Portrait of My Mother & Grandmother
    “Genetic Memory” (DETAIL) 6.5ft X7.5ft, Mixed Media Quilt (Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from “Grounding Ceremony”), My Mother’s Brain Scans (MRI), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting), April 2018 - present
  • My Mother's Brain Scans
    My Mother's Brain Scans (MRI) printed on fabric and sewn into "Genetic Memory" quilt.
  • Genetic Memory (Detail)
    "Genetic Memory" Quilt (DETAIL - Photo of my Grandparents), April 2018 Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from "Grounding Ceremony"), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting.
  • Process Video: Making “Genetic Memory”
    My Grandmother & I in the early stages of cutting & sewing the quilt top for "Genetic Memory"
  • Genetic Memory (Detail)
    “Genetic Memory” (DETAIL) 6.5ft X7.5ft, Mixed Media Quilt (Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from “Grounding Ceremony”), My Mother’s Brain Scans (MRI), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting), April 2018 - present
  • “Genetic Memory”
    “Genetic Memory” (DETAIL) 6.5ft X7.5ft, Mixed Media Quilt (Photographs printed on fabric, my hair (from “Grounding Ceremony”), My Mother’s Brain Scans (MRI), Mudcloth, cotton fabric & batting, hand and machine sewing, hand quilting), April 2018 - present

"Grounding Ceremony" (2011)

Grounding Ceremony documents the ceremonial release of my hair, which began with a sacred burial ritual. I begin by digging a hole into the Earth.  I ultimately enter that hole, where I cut each of my locs one by one. Each loc represents another level of release and cleansing, until all of my locs have been cut, marking the full release of the past. I was not the same person upon rising from the Earth that day, with my cut locs surrounding me, appearing like wings. 

 

 

Hair holds experiences, and a tree grows best when it has strong, solid roots. This ceremony released me from what I had been holding tightly to; and by rooting myself within the Earth for that process, I was able to transmute that energy so that I could emerge renewed. This video documents a very vulnerable moment of release and spiritual grounding. With the release of my hair, so many other things were also shed from my life. This work documents a true transition and rite-of-passage for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

  • "Grounding Ceremony" (2min EXCERPT)
    "Grounding Ceremony" (Excerpt) 2min excerpt from the full 17:21min video. June 2011
  • Grounding Ceremony - The Scissors
    11"X14" C-Print, 2011, Photography Documenting Rite of Passage Ceremony
  • Grounding Ceremony - Ritual Tools
    11"X14" C-Print, 2011, Photography Documenting Rite of Passage Ceremony
  • Grounding Ceremony Video Still
    Video Still, 17:21min video documenting rite of passage ceremony, 2011
  • "Grounding Ceremony" in exhibition at The Galleries (CCBC)
    Grounding Ceremony, displayed in an exhibition entitled Mythic, curated by EmilyAnn Craighead; October 21st - December 7th, 2019
  • Grounding Ceremony
    11"X14" C-Print, 2011, Photography Documenting Rite of Passage Ceremony
  • Rooted in the Earth - First Person Perspective
    8"X 40" C-Print, 2011, Photography Documenting Rite of Passage Ceremony
  • Grounding Ceremony Video Still - Cut Hair on Earth
    Video Still, 2011, 17:21min Video Documenting Rite of Passage Ceremony
  • Grounding Ceremony - Before & After
    8"X16" C-Print, 2011, Photography Documenting Rite of Passage Ceremony
  • "Grounding Ceremony" -- Blackbird Exhibtion
    "Grounding Ceremony", displayed in an exhibition entitled "BLACKBIRD" Curated by Alexis Dixon, April 2018 -- Inspired by Nina Simone’s “Blackbird”, BLACKBIRD invited Black women artists to claim artistic space in the midst of navigating a world that marks the existence of Black women as invisible. The exhibition was a collective representation of the ways Black women seek their own versions of liberation through ancestral reverence, healing, and cultural and self-preservation, all the while weaving in notions of spirituality.

"UNFOLD" (project spanning 2006 - 2016)

Unfold documents a metamorphic transition. I worked on Unfold, for a 10 year period.

Unfold began as a cast of my upper body, which I made into a pregnant form. From there, over the years, the piece would evolve based on life experiences, new understandings and revelations in dreams. During an emotionally tumultuous time in my life,  I had a dream that I cut my chest open and took my heart out. In the dream, I seached everywhere for someone who could fix it and put my heart safely back into my chest, but eventually found no one. Upon waking from this dream, I channeled that intensity into this piece, which was still a cast at the time. I mounted the cast to a large wooden panel and cut the chest open.

Over the years the piece evolved. I impregnated the cast with written intentions and words on fabric. I painted it and attached roots and bark. A few months after "Grounding Ceremony" I began to sew up the pregnant torso up with my newly cut locs. As a few more years passed, I opened the body cast again, revisiting and revising those intentions to more positive and life affirming ones. Then I sewed the torso back up using my locs. 

It’s final stages of development came as I built a large cocoon attached to a sculptural cast of my “pregnant” torso, sewn together by my hair. I then entered the cocooon, where I spent time in deep stillness. While in the cocoon I wrote words along the inside of its walls with india ink; the drips and painted strokes visibly appearing on the outside surface of this transluscent cocoon. After five hours of being inside of this piece, I (publicly) birthed myself from the cocoon I had created, hand dyed fabric trailing behind me like an umbilical cord. 

Not long after birthing myself from the cocoon, I decided to bury the placenta in my yard. The piece is still outside, as the weather & shifting seasons change it daily. Eventually it will fully return to the Earth. 

"The butterfly can help you see that exiting the cocoon suddenly opens a new door. The power of the butterfly lies in transformation and trust. Caterpillars must trust instinctual inclinations without doubt in order to reach the metamorphic stage. The caterpillar is almost completely dissolved by enzyme compounds within the chrysalis, before it can reform into an adult butterfly. Their whole body must be broken down to completely transform!" ~ "The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies"
 

  • UNFOLD, Installation & Rite of Passage (Birthing)
    “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • UNFOLD, Installation & Rite of Passage
    Birthing from Cocoon // “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • UNFOLD (Detail)
    “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • UNFOLD, Installation & Rite of Passage
    “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • The Creation of UNFOLD : Process Video
    "UNFOLD", Mixed Media Installation (Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from "Grounding Ceremony"), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Intentions) and Performance (Rite of Passage), 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, 2006 - June 2016
  • UNFOLD - Burying the Placenta
    Burying the Placenta October 2016 // “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • UNFOLD - Burying the Placenta
    Burying the Placenta October 2016 // “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • UNFOLD - Burying the Placenta
    Burying the Placenta October 2016 // “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • UNFOLD - Burying the Placenta
    Burying the Placenta October 2016 // “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016
  • UNFOLD - Return to Earth
    "UNFOLD" after being outside for 8 months as flowers bloomed in spring/summer // “UNFOLD” Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint, Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft, June 2006 – June 2016

Community Engaged + Social Practice: Workshops & Ritual Offerings (2015 - Ongoing)

My work extends beyond my personal practice and engages collaboratively with community. I bring art-based ritual to various communities in the forms of intergenerational storytelling, performance, ceremonial rites of passage, installation, sensory therapy and deep meditative rest experiences. I have received recognition from Maryland's First Lady Yumi Hogan & the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration for my art and activism in raising awareness on issues and stigmas surrounding mental health and substance use disorder. I served as Resident Healing Artist for a Baltimore-based initiative call The New Day Campaign (https://newdaycampaign.org) dedicated to creating and curating over 32 art-based public events and art exhibitions to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and substance use disorder, making the world a more healing place. 


I created and facilitated a free workshop for 16 black women in association with an exhibition I was invited to participate in called BLACKBIRD, curated by Alexis Dixon.  I taught bookmaking, conducted tea ceremony and I gifted the women hand-built self-preservation boxes I filled these kits with over 25 handcrafted and carefully chosen self-preservation + survival tools. These boxes were built, cut, sanded and fastened by myself and my Grandfather using deconstructed wine boxes. I created handles for them from rope and leather. These boxes serve as a companion for these women, and are still being used now, almost two years later. I continue to get messages from the women saying how much the self-preservation kit and workshop experience has influenced their lives and how they move through the world and care for themselves. 

Overall, my work explores healing and liberation, through the vehicle & practice of various art forms. Discoveries my personal art practice inform how I engage with my community and share these tools in the form of sensory, communal experiences and rites of passage. I am passionate about black women resting and engaging in practices of self-care.  As a certified yoga nidra instructor I create unique rest experiences. 

Recently I was able to visit Patuxent Prison Institution as a part of my friend and fellow artist, Nikia Kigler's program to bring art-based classes to men and women in prison (Art Inside/Out). While at the prison I taught a class focused on art, yoga nidra/deep rest and self preservation to the women there. I guided them through creating an inner sanctuary or inner resource and gifted them with aromatherapy sachets that I hand crafted with dried flowers and essential oils.  Stimulating the senses in this way was meant to create new memories that activate the parasympathetic nervous system while allowing them to transport themselves through visualization & breath work to experience true rest, even in such a tumultuous environment. For those moments we were not in a prison. We shared stories and explored the complexities of healing and self-preservation. 

Overall, I am here to unearth a space that can be accessed through this unique merging of worlds; that of art, ritual, spirituality, neuroscience and sensory exploration. My desire is to rediscover a sense of peace, wonder, healing happiness for us all, especially BIPOC (Black & Indigenous People of color). In ritualizing the mundane I hope to rediscover that which has been forgotten and stolen from us. My desire is to armor us with tools and practices for sustenance and connection in a society that often does not make us feel safe, loved and held.  

_________________

Offerings  Include:

Alchemical Artforms: A Workshop Series for Black Women
- Hand Crafted Teas & Herbalism
- Bookmaking & creative practice
- Self-care & Self-preservation
- Self-care boxes & survival kits
- Sensory Exploration
- Ritual & Rite of Passage Ceremony
- Daring to Rest Yoga Nidra

Handcrafted Books
I teach the creation of personalized, hand-bound books. The handmade books serve as alchemical tools that offer the opportunity to release, affirm, manifest, and process ones emotions; as well as unearth ancestral stories and gain a deeper understanding of self.

Self-Preservation Boxes
Hand-built self-preservation kits filled with over 20 handcrafted self-care tools. 

Handcrafted Teas.
I teach participants how to create handcrafted medicinal tea blends using a series of herbs. We explore the healing properties of each herb and we learn presence and connection through full sensory exploration. We then have a tea pouring, tasting and discussion.

Tea Ceremony.
Based on the research & work of Dr. Masaru Emoto; I facilitate a silent tea ceremony in which we create a communal brew in one central cauldron. Participants are guided through the process of choosing & filling their own tea bags with herbs, then adding those to a communal brew. Prior to the ceremony my Grandmother & I hand embroider each tea bag with a word or affirmation. Infusing the hot water with the embroidered words, herbs and our intentions changes the molecular structure of the water; thus by drinking with intention and attention, we change our own biochemistry and emotional state when we introduce this brew into our bodies during the silent tasting. 

Words such as “Love”, “Peace” & “Stillness” are literally woven into the bags that house our tea. In this way we’ve also invited our Ancestors into this ceremony through the sacred and ancient practice of sewing & embroidery. This ceremony uses all elements but focuses on the transformative qualities of water & earth, present in both the tea and in our physical bodies. 

“Water records information, and while circulating throughout the earth distributes information. This water sent from the universe is full of the information of life...” ― Masaru EmotoThe Hidden Messages in Water

Daring to Rest Yoga Nidra (+ Meditative Moments)
I am a Certified Daring to Rest Yoga Nidra Facilitator. Yoga Nidra, also known as "yogic sleep" is a deep, meditative, conscious sleep experience that utilizes stillness, body scanning, visual journeying and conscious breath-work to ground you back into your body and take you on a journey through deeply restorative brain-wave states; allowing rest, detoxification and rejuvenation on a cellular level. This is among one of the various meditative experiences I offer.

Sleep Hygiene Workshop.
In this workshop I explore the science, fundamentals and importance of sleep, with a focus on Black Women resting. Offering insight around healthy sleep practices, as well as ways to develop a deeper relationship with sleep and rest. Learning to use rest as a time to reclaim our dreams; resting for our ancestors who couldn’t. This workshop reframes rest as revolutionary as we learn to traverse deep brain wave states to heal on a cellular level.

Four Directions: 
I am in the early stages of working on a a huge community-based project called Four Directions. Four Directions is a four-part project, spanning over two years, that explores immersive ritual experiences, ceremonial practices and communal rites of passage to consciously channel, engage, and unravel ancestral memory for people of color (specifically black & indigenous people). Four Directions is about healing trans-generational trauma and building intergenerational bridges as a community, while engaging in practices of deep rest, self-love and self-preservation. I’m hoping that our often-fragmented ancestral histories take on more clarity through this project and that we learn to carry the potency of those stories with us; while still remaining light. 

 

 

 

  • Alchemical Artforms: Tea Ceremony
    This tea ceremony is based in inner alchemy and the transformative qualities of the natural herbs & elements. // Sunset Tea Ceremony at Edna's Home in Baltimore, Sept 2016 // “By holding the intention of peace towards water, by thinking, speaking and acting with the intention of peace towards water, water can and will bring peace to our bodies and to the world.” ― Masaru Emoto, The Hidden Messages in Water
  • Alchemical Artforms: Tea Ceremony
    The tea ceremony is a sacred & ritualistic way to engage in silence, presence and inner transformation through a dance between the 5 elements and our 5 senses. During this healing experience we will each fill hand-embroidered tea bags with herbs/leaves, while focusing on positive intention and affirmation. Both the embroidered affirmations, the herbs/leaves and our collective intentions, when introduced into the water, will change it’s molecular structure so that when we introduce this brew into our bodies during the silent tasting we will subsequently change our own biochemistry and emotional state. // Sunset Tea Ceremony at Edna's Home in Baltimore, Sept 2016 //
  • ALCHEMICAL ARTFORMS: A Workshop by Phylicia Ghee, New Orleans
    Les Bohèmes The Spirit of The Creatives Retreat, New Orleans, LA // A 5-day recharge & gathering to inspire, create & share in a safe & sacred space amongst kindred spirits.
  • Alchemical Artforms: BLACKBIRD
    A bookmaking & self-care focused workshop for black women, conceptualized by myself & Alexis Dixon in conjunction with her curatorial thesis exhibition entitled "BLACKBIRD". "BLACKBIRD" featured the work of 5 black women artists (including myself) creating work that explores spirituality and its connections to lineage/ancestry, healing, self-preservation, and liberation. // This workshop was free for 16 black women, to whom I taught bookmaking, conducted tea ceremony & gifted hand-built self-preservation boxes with over 25 handcrafted and carefully chosen self-preservation + survival tools. // April 2018, MICA Kramer House, Baltimore, MD
  • Alchemical Artforms: BLACKBIRD
    "I loved Phylicia’s confident and soothing voice/presence. She was deeply knowledgeable and held space for her students with grace, compassion and refreshing realness. This was my first experience with Phylicia and I felt she is a truly transformational teacher. I look forward to following her work, supporting and participating in any way I can." ~ Workshop Participant (Sleep Hygiene Workshop)
  • Phylicia Ghee: Performances, Workshops & Ritual Offerings, 2018 - 2019
    Glimpses into the process of preparing for various workshop offerings, overlaid by sound from an opening circle with some of my workshop participants.
  • "Trauma, Art & Healing" Tea Ceremony: Washington College
    Alchemical Artforms Tea Ceremony: Washington College -- "Trauma, Art & Healing" an event conceptualized by Peter Bruun was sponsored by the Prevention, Education, Advocacy Center (PEAC) at Washington College and takes place at the college the afternoon of Sunday, March 4. The event features a communal healing experience led by artist Phylicia Ghee with the purpose of addressing trauma head on through spiritual, communal, and ritualistic healing. // The effects of intention & words on water molecules, as shown in Massaru Emoto's extensive research & microscopic photography are projected on a large screen // March 4, 2018
  • BLACKBIRD -- Hand-built Self Preservation Kits, over 25 handcrafted & carefully chosen items
    This workshop was free for 16 black women, to whom I taught bookmaking, conducted tea ceremony & gifted hand-built self-preservation kits. These boxes were built, cut, sanded, burned and fastened by myself and my Grandfather using deconstructed wine boxes. With kits assembled by myself, close friends & Alexis Dixon (curator of BLACKBIRD); I created handles for the boxes from rope and leather. These boxes serve as a companion for the women, the contents of which are still being used for self-care, years later.
  • Love Thy Self - Meditative Moment
    Facilitating a meditative body scan experience at "One Thousand Love Letters" Exhibition by Peter Bruun at the "Love Thy Self" public program (March 7th, 2019 at Maryland Art Place) - onethousandloveletters.com - photography by Alona Shavi Cabrera (IEnvision Photography)
  • HOW TO TAKE CARE, Contributor
    HOW TO TAKE CARE is a collaborative E-Guide with 100 Pages Of Recipes, Rituals, And Reflections frrom IAO Studio created and edited by Krystal Mack as a free offering that raised over $10,000 for victims and survivors of IP and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was one of 32 contributors from around the world. I contributed two recipes (ginger + tumeric tea & fire cider) and two offerings (a body scan/sleep meditation & aromatherapy sachets).